Khalid Mohamed

Khalid Mohamed.JPG

A champion of middle class ethos

He can be located at his apartment in an upscale Mumbai suburb, still itching to make yet another film, in half a shoestring budget. And quietly, he often takes off to Kolkata to confect a Bengali film, which requires neither outlandish finance nor brain-curdling plots.

Vintage trips that leave you high, dry

Once, overseas trips — I’m not about to say “in my time” — were an exception. Today, they’re the rule. And so, print and electronic media are frequent fliers to spots ranging from Mauritius and Australia to London, New York, Hollywood and… who knows about tomorrow… Haiti and the Hebrides.

Filmstars ko gussa kyun aata hai?

Break-up, patch-up, brawls, slaps — it’s all been there ever since the movies were invented — but whoa, the agony path didn’t make front-page news. There were no TV satellite channels to go hysterical over a thoda sa thappad ho jaaye incident at a Juhu hotspot. One channel presenter — looking as if World War III had erupted — reported that the fracas happened at Sanjay Dutt’s apartment when the combatants were dancing and drinking at a nightclub. Boggled me, how could the two be in two disparate venues at the same time? However since this isn’t a TV review, I will leave the Shah Rukh Khan-Shirish Kunder maara maari right at this full stop.

A film’s journey from ordinary to classic

Currently, two Hollywood movie projects are striving to retell the eminently marketable story of Linda Lovelace. A-list names like Demi Moore in the part of the celebrated feminist Gloria Steinem and the romcom actor Adam Brody are part of one of the films being rapidly rushed to completion.

A dream girl that Bollywood missed

Lend me your ears. If not, just let me tell you about one of my many compulsive disorders. When I was a kid — some say I still am — I was fixated on this Hindi film, Izzat, in which honourable Tamil Nadu chief minister, Jayalalithaa Jayaram, had portrayed a tribal belle. She had performed a rambunctious dance to a lyric which refuses to budge from my attic-like head.

The invisible man

He’s Invisible Man. I’ve never seen him at splashy filmland shindigs — not that I’ve been to gazillions — premieres and award ceremonies.

The painter and his unfulfilled dreams

The story continues. Objections are still being raised against any effort to remember the iconic artist M.F. Husain who passed away at the age of 95 on June 9 this year. Not only his artworks but now his role as a filmmaker has raised the hackles of a protest group at the recently concluded MAMI Film Festival.

Good cinema, not just skin-deep

It’s a sign of the Net-access times perhaps. With sex sites just a mouse click away — officially to over 18 year olds only — the lust for nudity on the big movie screen has shrivelled, porn unintended.
Clearly, that’s one lesson learnt from the MAMI International Film Festival, which concluded in Mumbai today. Skin shows like Sleeping Beauty and Recruited Love attracted lean crowds compared to the packed-to-the rafters screenings of Gus Van Sant’s Restless, a valentine to young, tormented hearts, avant-gardist Bela Tarr’s rigidly experimental The Turin Horse and Wim Wenders’ Pina, a salute to the legendary choreographer-dancer Pina Bausch. At the end of their shows, the audience applauded spontaneously.

The man who loved women

The evening was going, going, gone. It was 7 pm, 8 pm, then 8.30 pm… then… The phone remained stubbornly silent. He had promised to call, confirm the appointment, pukka pukka, no last-minute cancellation. I was getting as impatient as someone waiting for a long-delayed flight to a much-dreamt-about destination.
Or Raj Khosla, the man who raised the bar of the director. Schooled in the Guru Dutt and Navketan styles, he evolved his own identity. Hoardings of his films would carry an insignia of the director’s chair and his hand-written signature.

Dadamoni, yesterday today and tomorrow

Next month — on October 13 — it will be his 100th birth anniversary. His family, particularly his daughter Bharati, is planning to organise screenings of his films, an exhibition perhaps, and a documentary on dear Dadamoni.
Of all the actors I’ve ever interviewed in my life, Ashok Kumar was the most spontaneous of them all. He never spoke with premeditation or calculated introspection. So, here’s rewinding to an afternoon chat with Dadamoni, shortly before he passed away in December 10, a decade ago.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.